How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

During the hottest months of summer, you will want to stay cool and comfortable in your home. This doesn’t have to come at a high price, however. The largest energy expense typically comes from your heating and cooling bills. There are ways that you can minimize these bills so that the expense is not costing you significantly just to stay comfortable and cool.  We’ll walk you through ways that you can check your home for any air leaks that could be costing you extra unnecessary money and energy.

How To Test for Air Leaks

  • First, check the windows and doors in your home to make sure there aren’t any that are cracked open.
  • Next, evaluate the weather stripping. If you have deteriorating weather stripping in your home, peel it away and make sure to clean the surface so that it’s ready for new weather stripping. It’s time to apply new weather stripping (that’s waterproof) to the doors and windows in your home.
  • Seal the Air Ducts in your home with mastic sealant.
  • Perform a test for air leaks by using thin toilet paper or an incense stick. Hold it next to your doors, utility connections, windows or ceiling fixtures to check if there’s an air leak. When you perform this test, turn off the air conditioning system so that the air is still. If the thin toilet paper or the smoke begins to move at all when you hold it up, that means there’s an air leak.
  • Check the flue of your fireplace when checking for air leaks as well. The flue should create a tight seal when it’s not being used and most people don’t think about how much air comes in and out through your fireplace!
  • Also, check the outlets in your home. It may be a good idea to purchase foam gaskets to seal the air leaks so that air is not escaping through the outlets.

Other things to remember:

  • The door sweeps in your home should be checked and replaced if necessary. When shopping for new door sweeps, look for the permanent pliable rubber sealants. These are a sturdy option compared to the self-adhesive type of door sweep.
  • Moving to the outside of the home, check the full perimeter for any gaps that you may find. If the gaps are larger than ¼ inch, you can spray them with expandable foam spray to fill in the gaps.

These are all ways that can help seal up the leaks in your home so that precious air and heat doesn’t escape. While you may be able to do some of these yourself, it’s always best to call a professional to handle the task of making sure that your whole home is properly sealed. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to inspect your duct work to test for any leaks.  If it was installed improperly, if the duct work is old, or if there’s corrosion, these could all contribute to leaks in the duct work.  Interested in learning more about how we can take of your whole house with our Whole House program?

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Have you checked your Exhaust Fans Lately?

Out of all the home appliances and items to maintain, you may not give much thought to a bathroom exhaust fan. They should be on your list, however, because they serve as a home necessity. The purpose of having an exhaust fan is to eliminate any moisture from the bathrooms in your home. Not only does it help control the moisture levels, but it also removes any odors. What many people don’t know is that exhaust fans reduce the fumes that are released from cleaning agents. So they help as a safety measure to eliminate health-related issues from cleaning agents.

We’ll review some the benefits that an exhaust fan provides below:

  • Exhaust fans serve the purpose of eliminating orders in the bathroom. The exhaust fan works to draw out the odors because of the ventilation system within the exhaust fan.
  • Exhaust fans reduce airborne contaminants. Cleaning chemicals used in bathrooms typically have aggressive chemicals that are potentially problematic for health if they are inhaled. The cleaning chemicals can be especially dangerous for young children or anyone with lung conditions. If bathrooms have mold, the exhaust fan works to remove the spores buildup in the air, which slows down the growth rate of the mold.
  • They work to reduce foggy mirrors. The exhaust fans control the moisture levels in the bathrooms. They remove the water vapor that builds up on the walls and mirrors.
  • They reduce the humidity in the bathrooms which can cause serious problems. An excessive amount of humidity in bathrooms can potentially cause doors to warp or paint to peel. What’s worse is that too much humidity can cause mold in your bathrooms to accumulate over time. If left unaddressed, the mold spores can grow at a rapid pace, and they’re not easy to eliminate.

If you’re in need of a new exhaust van, we have some general recommendations that help you know what to look for. The best exhaust fans will remove moisture and odors and also be quiet. There are additional guidelines and a formula that allows you to determine which size fan is best for your bathroom.

The Home Ventilating Institute explains that ventilation rates should be based upon eight air changes every hour. The air movememt is generally measured by an acronym CFM (which stands for cubic feet per minute). What you’ll need to know for the formula is that bathrooms between 50-100 square feet have 1 CFM  per square foot of floor space. If your bathroom is smaller than 50 square feet, it’s 50 CFM. For bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, you’ll have to take into consideration each bathroom fixture that will need ventilation as well. Add on 50 CFM per bathroom fixture. Because the average bathroom size is between 50-100 square feet, the average fan will be rated between 50-110 CFM.

Did you know that cleaning your air conditioning on a regular basis will also help with noise reduction in your exhaust fans? Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical  to provide routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit! We can also check all your ventilation systems while we’re there. Not only will we make sure that your ventilation systems are running properly, but we can also clean out your air filters so that the air quality in your entire home will be clean and comfortable for your family to enjoy daily living!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

Why You Should be Using a Humidifier

Now that summer months are in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start considering how your home environment could  affect your health. There have been significant advancements with heating and cooling options over the past several years, so it’s time to reap the full benefits of those advancements! Long gone are the days where thermostats where limited to a dial that you had to change to set the temperature.

You might want to consider utilizing a Humidifier in Your Home and here’s why: 

  • They increase comfort levels in your home. Humidifiers produce moisture in the air, which will enable you to rest well with a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • They help alleviate wintertime sickness.  The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. With a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.
  • The air will feel more comfortable and also warmer, which means that you can turn down your thermostat in the winter and save some extra money!
  • Moisture in the air from a Humidifier can ease dry skin, dry sinuses and even cracked lips caused by dry air!

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of a humidifier, here are some important considerations as to how to use one:

  • Many humidifiers will measure the humidity level in a room.. The optimal level should be 30 percent when it’s cold and 50 percent when it’s hot outside.
  • There are different humidifier options that are beneficial for each type of room in your home. It’s common for homeowners to have a humidifier in multiple rooms of their home.
  • Smaller humidifiers are beneficial for smaller rooms, especially children’s rooms. It’s best to stick with a cool mist humidifier, since it eliminates the chance of children getting burned by a warm mist humidifier.
  • There are console and whole home humidifiers that may be beneficial for larger rooms in the home.
  • If noise is an important consideration for you, there are ultrasonic humidifiers which create the quietest atmosphere.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing today to review your heating and cooling systems.  We can address any areas of concern and how well your systems are working.

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

The "Change Filter" Light is Flashing: What Now?

You look up and see a blinking light on your thermostat, “CHANGE FILTER.” Don’t ignore it! These filters protect your indoor air quality, meaning, they keep you and your family healthy! And by keeping them clean, it will save you money on heating and air conditioning in the long run. 

So do you call a professional or start looking up DIY YouTube videos? According to the professionals, if your filter is accessible and you feel comfortable getting to it, you can check to see its condition. The filter looks like a large windowpane. And you should replace it with the same size you already have. However, there’s no need to stick with a certain brand as long as the filter fits correctly. It goes in the same way the old filter was removed and it should be a snug fit. You can also use a permanent marker or pen to write the install date on your new air filter. That way, you won’t have any questions about when you need a new one the next time.

You should change out the standard 1″ wire media air filter every month depending on your lifestyle, especially if you have pets. But there are other types of media air filters that are thicker and take out a higher percentage of dust and contaminants. These filters usually have a longer service life. There are also electric air filters that electronically zap the contaminants and sterilizes the dust mites that survive in climates with relative humidity over 50%.

Benefits of Changing Air Filters:

  • Extends the life of your unit- systems can overheat if air filters aren’t clear and clean which can shut down your entire unit!
  • Keeps Energy Costs Down- if your filter is clean, your unit doesn’t have to work as hard, using less energy to heat and cool your home!
  • Keeps Pet Dander and Allergens at bay- keep your air cleaner by getting rid of unwanted pollutants!
  • Keeps your system clean- don’t let unwanted dirt, dander and other things clog up your system which can cost more in repairs!

When shopping, look at the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number, which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration is.  If your filter is in an area where you’re not comfortable reaching it yourself, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning. They will check it out for you and replace it if needed.To schedule an appointment, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 800-461-3010.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

People are often looking for more ways to save money.  Even a few extra dollars of savings a month can accumulate and make a difference. Have you looked into all the areas you could be saving more? Maybe you’ve committed to tuning up your AC unit on a regular basis. This is an important aspect of long term energy savings. But have you considered the thermostat you’re using?

There are a few primary benefits to using a programmable thermostat:

Saves time – Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat for the time of day and the different seasons, consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust based on how you preset it! It can become quite a hassle to constantly adjust the temperature during the day, before bed, right when you wake up or when the seasons change.  By setting the temperature up front, you save time and hassle.

Saves money – With energy bills on the rise, a programmable thermostat is even more beneficial because of how much energy it will save, which translates into money saving. There’s the potential to save up to 2% for every degree you lower or increase your setting. You can adjust the settings to turn off the AC when you are gone, then turn on when you get home, so you’ll also be saving money here as well.

Adjusts to zoned heating and cooling areas – It’s already beneficial to have zones of your home that you can heat and cool according to preferences and use of that space. It’s even more beneficial for these zones to be preset, which allows every square foot of your home to be completely customized with temperature settings.

Maintains a consistent temperature – Instead of fluctuating between too hot or too cold, a programmable thermostat allows you to set and maintain the perfect temperature. It also prevents those spots in your home that can be hot or cold spots.

If you haven’t had a chance start routine maintenance for your heating and cooling systems, don’t worry – it’s not too late! The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, the cost to fix it will be significant. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and check your unit to ensure that it’s running efficiently, and we can continue to provide routine maintenance. We can also install and set your programmable thermostat as well!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

Let Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical help babyproof your home!

Did you know we could help keep your children and family safe?  We can even help babyproof your home!

Whether you’re a first-time parent or it’s been a few years since you’ve done the baby thing, or you’re a caregiver getting ready for a new addition to your home, you’ll start looking at your house—and all of its dangers—differently. What are the basics of babyproofing? First, think ahead. While your 6 month old may not be able to get to much, your 2 year old will. And we can even help with some of these to give you extra peace of mind!

Tips to Keeping Babies and Young Children Safe In Your Home:

  • Plug all unused electrical outlets with safety covers and move all exposed wires out of reach. This will take some creativity—perhaps you’ll need to move furniture around or go ahead and mount that TV like you’ve talked about for so long! You’ll also want to make sure there are no exposed wires anywhere in or around your home!
  • Move tall lamps behind sturdy furniture such as a couch, or consider getting rid of these lamps altogether.
  • Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure you have enough. There should be one smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level of the house, and one carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house. We are happy to help install these!  And remember that these need to be checked every few months to make sure they are in working condition!
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s locked up or place a sturdy screen around the hearth. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas line isn’t leaking!  Again, give us a call if you have any concerns!
  • Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in any other areas where you want to keep them out. Think ahead—getting taller gates with high quality latches/locks will save you from going out and buying new gates when your baby is 18 months old.
  • Remove blinds with looped cords and keep curtains and blinds out of babies and toddlers’ reach.
  • Anchor heavy furniture such as dressers to the wall.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners and install locks on the refrigerator, appliances and cabinets you don’t want your little one getting into. Don’t forget the toilets, or you could end up with a pretty big project when they flush their toys down the toilet!

 

Let us help keep your little ones safe!  Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! With our Whole House Agreement, we can service your heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical!  We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

DIY Backsplash Part 2

 

In a previous post, we explained how to prep your kitchen walls so that they are ready to be tiled for an instant upgrade. Now that your walls are prepped, it’s time for the measuring. You’ll want to start at the focal point of the kitchen which is most often above the oven and under the hood vent. Since you’ll be buying and cutting the tile sheets yourself, you will want the least amount of cutting possible.

 

  • Starting above your stove, measure from the top down where you want the backsplash to stop.
  • At the mark you want the backsplash to stop, screw a scrap piece of wood that will create a level place where the tile will stop. The wood piece will also hold the tile in place while the adhesive dries. (This is for the central part of your wall above the oven, so there is no counter top to keep the tile in place while the adhesive is drying).
  • Find the center of the wall and mark a vertical line for the backsplash. Leave 1/8 inch of space around the junction of the tile and cabinets for expansion. At this point, there should be a horizontal wood board on the wall signifying where the tile stops, and a vertical center line in the middle of the wall.
  • Use a trowel and spread tile adhesive on the wall where you will tile. It’s best to do one portion of the wall at a time and wipe the trowel off with water to prevent the adhesive from drying.
  • Starting at the center line you drew on the wall, apply the first tile sheet and press it with your hand. Use a scrap piece of wood and mallet to firmly press on the tile. If there’s any problem with the tile sticking, this means the adhesive is too thick and you’ll need to scrape off some before re-applying the tile.
  • Use tile spacers to make sure the tile pieces are even, and also a lever throughout the process for precision.
  • Once the tiles have all been laid, allow them to set for 24 hours.
  • Apply grout to the tiles – working in a diagonal motion. After a few hours, wipe off any grout haze that is left on the tiles.
  • After three days, apply a sealant to the grout to prevent any stains.


Although this is a tedious process, the money saved and value added will make the project well worth it! You now have an upgraded kitchen and a new skill! Make sure that your kitchen is not only looking good, but operating efficiently. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check your kitchen faucet for leaks. We’ll fix any leaks and save you from expensive repairs down the road and potentially 200 gallons of wasted water per day!

 

 

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

How About Hosting a 4th of July Party?

The holiday that marks American Patriotism is around the corner, and often a time of gathering and celebration. If you’re hosting a celebration this year, don’t get overwhelmed just yet! We’re here to share some helpful tips that will make hosting an enjoyable experience! 

 

  • Prepare in advance. When it comes to the 4th of July, or any holiday, food is the primary staple that brings people together. Many delicious food options can be prepared days in advance. Consider frozen treats – perfect for summertime – or sauces that can be created in advance for BBQ and chicken.

 

  • Focus on drinks. In the heat of summer, one thing that everyone will be looking for is a good drink to keep them cool. Enhance any flavored beverage by adding strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to highlight the patriotic celebration.

 

  • Make the most of seasonal fruits. Not only are berries a great option for adding to drinks, but there are many seasonal fruits that can serve as decorative center displays or as fruit treys for people to snack on.

 

  • Keep it simple with prewrapped cutlery. Create an assortment of white, blue and red cutlery and a napkin stay consistent with the red, white and blue theme.

 

  • Add festive décor. Don’t break the bank to make your home look festive. Add a few patriotic flags, some red, white and blue balloons paired with some colorful streamers and your home will look like you’ve spent lots of time and money prepping for the big celebration!

 

Now that your home is decorated and food is prepped, do a final check to so that you’re ready to fully accommodate your guests. Make sure that your plumbing is properly working – including your toilets and sink faucets. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! We can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

 

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

DIY Tile Backsplash

As we mentioned in previous posts, summertime is often the best season to take on home projects. The long daylight hours are perfect for outdoor and indoor projects alike. One of the indoor projects that adds instant value and appreciation to your home is kitchen tile backsplash. The kitchen and bathrooms are primary areas of the home that everyone looks at when considering buying a home. 

Adding tile to the kitchen is a different process than adding tile to the bathroom. The kitchen does not have any areas that are considered “wet areas” with backerboard. So it will be a simpler process from that perspective, yet still a tedious process that requires patience.  Follow these guidelines for a successful enhancement to your kitchen!

 

  • Turn off the power to your kitchen.
  • Wipe down and clean all wall areas that will be tiled. A mixture of water and liquid dish soap will remove any stubborn grease stains.
  • Cover your countertops with a drop cloth or some other protective material.
  • Take off all outlet covers and switch plates. Move all the appliances that are close to the areas you will be tiling.
  • Tape off the cabinets and the area where the counters meet the wall. Be sure to also tape off the outlets.

 

At this point, you’ve prepped your walls and are ready for measuring and the tile installation! Read our next post for how to finish DIY kitchen tile installation! Cosmetic upgrades add great value to your home – however, you can also add value by making sure your home is operating efficiently as well. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check on your water heater, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines, faucets for leaks and ventilation systems!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

What Flowers to Plant During Summer

Summer is the season that yields the quickest growth for plants and flowers, which is probably not surprising considering the amount of sun and warmth they receive. The amount of water a flower or plant receives plays a critical role in its overall growth. Although some flowers may not get enough water, there is equally a concern that some flowers receive too much water. Look for signs as you tend to your own garden and its needs. If your flowers have brown petals that are starting to curl, they most likely need more water. If the petals are starting to droop, however, this sign shows that they are receiving too much water.  Consider an irrigation system in your yard and garden and allow us to help!

If you’re looking for a beautiful array of color in your garden, there are many flowers that you can plant during summer to provide that pop of color! We’ve listed just a few of our favorites:

  • Marigolds – it’s hard not to feel instantly better when looking at these vibrant warm orange and yellow flowers. Be sure to plant them in a place that receives lots of sunshine.
  • Lantanas – If you’re looking for a flower than comes in more colors than just orange and yellow, you may want to consider Lantanas. Their low-maintenance nature makes them appealing to many, and their array of colors comes in purple, pink, red, orange and yellow.
  • Verbenas – Need a flower that will spread and provide a sweeping effect? The Verbena is perfect for planting on retaining walls or in flower boxes or pots.
  • Gloriosa Daisy – Let’s not forget the Gloriosa Daisy, also known as the Black-Eyed Susan. They can reach up to 3 ½ feet tall and are ideal for planting at the back of garden beds so they don’t block the view of their smaller counterpart plants. With their orange petals and black center, the Black-Eyed Susans require full sun to reach their potential growth.

While you’re making your yard beautiful, don’t forget about the inside of your home as well.  The intense amount of heat during summer months is less than ideal for your air conditioner, if it’s not maintained for optimum efficiency. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a Power Ventilator in your home to save you money and provide cooling relief from the heat!  There may be heat trapped in your attic, forcing your air conditioning unit to work double time. The Power Ventilator will replace this hot air with the cooler air outside, saving you money and allowing your unit to run more efficiently!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.